By Bruno Latour
In this new ebook, Bruno Latour bargains solutions to questions raised in We Have by no means Been smooth, a paintings that interrogated the connections among nature and tradition. If now not sleek, he requested, what have we been, and what values may still we inherit? during the last twenty-five years, Latour has constructed a study protocol varied from the actor-network idea with which his identify is now associated--a study protocol that follows the different sorts of connectors that supply particular fact stipulations. those are the connectors that recommended a weather scientist challenged via a captain of to entice the institution of technological know-how, with its military of researchers and mountains of information, instead of to ''capital-S Science'' as the next authority. Such modes of extension--or modes of life, Latour argues here--account for the various ameliorations among legislations, technology, politics, and different domain names of knowledge.
even though medical wisdom corresponds to simply one of many many attainable modes of life Latour describes, an unrealistic imaginative and prescient of technology has develop into the arbiter of truth and fact, seducing us into judging all values by means of a unmarried regular. Latour implores us to get well different modes of life which will do justice to the plurality of fact stipulations that Moderns have came across all through their heritage. This systematic attempt of establishing a brand new philosophical anthropology offers a very assorted view of what Moderns were, and gives a brand new foundation for beginning diplomatic encounters with different societies at a time whilst all societies are dealing with ecological crisis.
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Additional resources for An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns
But since it is a matter of finally bridging the abyss that separates what the Moderns say from what they do, I have not been able to see any way this inquiry into modes of existence could do without philosophy. I am turning to philosophy, then, not in the vain hope of finding in the “foundations” what field study is unable to provide but, on the contrary, in the hope of forging a metalanguage that will allow us finally to do justice, in theory, to the astounding inventions that the fields reveal at every step—among the Moderns too.
Is it more habitable? And this is the test I was speaking of earlier under the name of diplomacy and under the still obscure notion of institution. At bottom, that is what this is all about: can one institute the Moderns in habitats that are, if not stable, at least sustainable and reasonable? More simply, more radically: can one offer them a dwelling place at long last? After all these years of wandering in the desert, do they have hope of reaching not the Promised Land but Earth itself, quite simply, the only one they have, at once underfoot and all around them, the aptly named Gaia?
I believe, on the contrary, that it is because of the urgency that we must begin to reflect slowly. How are we going to proceed? To use expres- The inquiry at first sions that would be more suitable to an analytic resembles the one philosopher, let us say that the inquiry will allow us involving speech acts → to clarify, fairly systematically, for a large number of unexpected subject s, category mistakes bearing on what I have called the various modes of existence. By comparing conflicts of values in pairs—scientific versus religious, for example, or legal versus political, or scientific versus fictional, and so on—we shall observe very quickly that a large proportion of the tensions (tensions that explain in part the opacity I mentioned above) stem from the fact that the veracity of one mode is judged in terms of the 17 • Introduction conditions of veridiction of a different mode.